devotional, church, Wilsonville, Tualatin

Present Jesus

Katie Couric recently focused her television talk show on religion today in the United States. I don’t know if Katie is a Christian but she seems to have some understanding of the basics of Christianity. Among the people she interviewed were a couple of pastors from two diverse mega-churches.

One is a prominent preacher at a mega-church with a national television presence. He seemed fundamental in his stated beliefs but leaned heavily on positive thinking and if you do good things and give enough money God will take care of you. (Since he only talked a few minutes and I was doing a crossword puzzle at the same time I may not of fully understood all about his teachings.) Of course the current hot topic is gay marriages and when Katie pinned him down he said the Bible speaks against this behavior. While I believe he is preaching a reasonably sound Christian message, being true to scripture, I would much rather listen to and trust Pastor Chad in his scriptural presentations.

The next pastor is from New York. His church meets in a night club building with a night club atmosphere including loud music and strobe lights. He was neat, clean, casually dressed, wore a black leather jacket, “contemporary” hair cut, wanting to appeal to people in their 20s and 30s. He seemed very sound in his scriptural beliefs and clearly talked about a personal relationship with Jesus. Katie tried to get him to make a statement regarding gay marriage. However, he would not let her manipulate him into making a political statement. In fact, it reminded me of what Pastor Chad said about Jesus in His ministry, that while His followers and the religious leaders wanted Him to be political or socially correct He would not “play their games.” This young preacher told Katie that he would not make a rash statement to be broadcast to millions of people but he would meet with her privately and have a conversation with her about any topic, emphasizing Jesus’ teachings and His relationship with us.

Pastor Chad talked about three kinds of people: those who hate Jesus; those who are indifferent to Jesus; and those who are excited about Jesus.

Those who hate Jesus are usually afraid of losing something—-power, money, friends. They think Jesus wants to take something from them. So, a caring dialogue with them will help them reveal their real motivation for rejecting Jesus. Then God will be able to work in their lives to show them His love and peace that will melt their fears.

Indifference is a huge issue among humans. In sales training classes I learned that indifference is the number one reason customers stop doing business with one company and move to another. Regarding Jesus, indifference will eventually either turn to rejection or excitement.

Finally, there are those who are excited about Jesus. They want to learn about Jesus, spend time with Jesus, talk about Jesus. We don’t need a seminary degree to talk about Jesus, we just need to share what He means to us and our relationship with Him.

Pastor Chad encouraged us to talk with people about Jesus. This is not debating what the world thinks as that usually does not do much more that get us stirred up and misunderstood by the people we are talking with. We would do better to center our conversation about Jesus, present Jesus for who He is, introduce Him to our friends and relatives, tell them how much He loves us, tell them why we love Him. Just like anything else, the more we practice the better we will be. So, just like the shoe people say, Just Do It!

What do you think?